Tags: Lifelong | Calcium | Supplements | Aid | bones

Lifelong Calcium Supplements Aid bones

Thursday, 27 April 2006 12:00 AM

Calcium pills do indeed enhance women's bone health, but only if they are taken regularly, say researchers at the University of Western Australia.

While the study of 1,460 women 70 and older found no significant benefits for the group as a whole, the 57 percent who took calcium supplements for the entire five years had a 34 percent reduction in the risk of bone fractures.

"It was a bit of a surprise and a bit disappointing to discover that the effect was so dependent on compliance," Dr. Richard Prince, the lead researcher, told The Wall Street Journal.

The study's conclusions, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, are similar to a February U.S. Women's Health Initiative study, which was also widely misinterpreted.

"I heard women saying, 'That's it. This study says (calcium) isn't important and I should throw them out,'" WHI researcher Dr. Andrea LaCroix told the Journal.

"But that's the wrong take-home message," LaCroix said. "There are so many things about this trial that support the guidelines to get at least 1,200 milligrams (of calcium) a day."

Dr. LaCroix said she personally will continue tot take calcium daily calcium and hopes other women do too.

"It would be such a tragedy if the level of calcium intake in our country went down because of a yes or no interpretation of this trial," she said. "We would have done damage instead of improving public health."

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Calcium pills do indeed enhance women's bone health, but only if they are taken regularly, say researchers at the University of Western Australia. While the study of 1,460 women 70 and older found no significant benefits for the group as a whole, the 57 percent who took...
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2006-00-27
Thursday, 27 April 2006 12:00 AM
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